High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development under the auspices of ECOSOC
“Strengthening integration, implementation and review – the HLPF after 2015
United Nations, 7 July 2015
The year 2015 is crucial for the international community. In September at a Leaders’ Summit in New York, a new development agenda including global sustainable development goals will be adopted. This is a universal agenda for all nations, be it rich or poor. A people-centered agenda, that aims at ending poverty and promoting sustainable development in all its three dimensions- economic, social and environmental- a commitment in the Brundtland Report that still needs to be met 28 years later.
For the Post-2015 development agenda to be effective, truly transformational and people-centered, we need a strong monitoring, accountability and review framework at all levels, global, regional and national. This global framework should incorporate lessons learned and best practice from existing monitoring and accountability mechanisms. A more credible system is needed, of mutual accountability for universally applicable goals and commitments, in a strengthened institutional framework.
In the 2012 Rio Conference we have decided to establish a universal High Level Political Forum (HLPF) to follow-up on the implementation of commitments to sustainable development and of the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development, social, economic and environmental. The HLPF on sustainable development which is now in a transitional period will be the primary forum for monitoring, review and accountability of the post 2015 development agenda at the global level. Progress in the implementation of sustainable development goals and targets must be measured against a robust set of global indicators covering the whole agenda including means of implementation and which would permit comparability among different levels of economic development of countries and regions. National and regional review processes that also include contributions of a wide spectrum of stakeholders, should feed their outcomes into the forum which in turn should make recommendations for further action at national, regional and global level. The HLPF in order to succeed in its role, close coordination and cooperation with all relevant UN bodies and agencies such as the functional commissions of ECOSOC and UNEP as well as other international organizations, are essential.
An important tool of measuring global progress in implementing sustainable development commitments is the Global Sustainable Development Report which should bring together information and assessments that strengthen the science-policy interface. Being global it should address common challenges which are universal, through inclusive, evidence-based and transparent scientific assessments in areas related to all three dimensions of sustainable development, building on existing mechanisms. The Global Sustainable Development Report should inform the deliberations of the HLPF every four years and it should provide political impetus for action oriented results.
For any monitoring, accountability and review mechanism to be successful, reliable and transparent data for measuring progress at the global, regional and national levels is of critical importance. Accessible and user-friendly data, disaggregated by gender, age, income among others, is necessary if we want to achieve universal coverage and to leave no one behind. Capacity building in this respect of countries most in need for generating such high quality data should be priority.
This is a universal agenda and must be strengthened by universal monitoring, accountability and review. It is however, each country’s responsibility to ensure effective implementation at national level and an accountability system should be guided by national ownership and leadership which would also involve all stakeholders.
Furthermore, high level political involvement as well as periodic and inclusive global, regional and national review of progress on specific goals, targets and indicators is essential for any follow-up and review process. It is also important that space is created for people to participate in policy choices that affect them and to be able to hold governments and other actors accountable. Likewise local authorities, the private sector and other stakeholders should also play a key role in the follow-up and review process.
Cyprus is working towards establishing its own accountability framework in its national implementation process. At the same time we are looking forward to actively participate at the regional and global levels as well as within our European family, in order to successfully implement our common development agenda and to attain our overarching goal of poverty eradication and sustainable development.
Together we can succeed.